Clandestine Affairs, Book 2
From the publisher:
Diana Quincy returns with the second novel in her Clandestine Affairs series featuring a steamy romance between a working class London bonesetter who is dangerously attracted to her mysterious noble client.
A seduction that could ruin everything . . .
Hanna Zaydan has fought to become London’s finest bonesetter, but her appealing new patient threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard for. With each appointment, the daughter of foreign merchants is slowly seduced by the mysterious former soldier. She’s smart enough to know Griff is after more than he’ll reveal, but whatever it is, the bonesetter’s growing desire for the man just might tempt her to give it to him.
An attraction that cannot be denied . . .
Rumors that he killed his own parents have followed Thomas Ellis, Viscount Griffin, practically since he was a boy. More than a decade after the tragedy, Griff receives a tip about his parents’ killer . . . one that takes him straight to a beautiful bonesetter. Griff is convinced Hanna is a fraud, but she stirs genuine feelings in him that he thought had perished along with his family.
Hanna has a gift for fixing fractured people, but can she also mend a broken heart? More importantly, will Griff let her?
I read the first book in this series, Her Night with the Duke, and really liked it, so I was happy to get my hands on this one. This is a terrific romance with the most fascinating heroine.
I never heard of a bonesetter before, but based on the work she does in this story, it is sort of a cross between a chiropractor, orthopedist, and maybe physical therapist, all rolled into one. Hanna is not allowed to go to medical school, she is a young woman, but nothing stopped her from learning from her father. He, too, was a bonesetter, and from the time she was a young girl Hanna knew this was her destiny. The only problem is that the medical community thinks of bonesetters as charlatans and quacks.
Griff’s parents were murdered when he was a teenager and he hasn’t heard from his sisters since. His father’s best friend was named his guardian, and he took care of Griff as best he could. Eventually, Griff joins the army until he is severely injured and sent home. His shoulder, elbow and wrist were injured and never healed properly, leaving him in constant pain for years. His guardian, a doctor and head of a local hospital, tells him to just give it more time and offers opium, which Griff is avoiding at all costs.
Griff happens to be nearby when a young man along with a group of his rowdy friends, approaches Hanna, offering his wrist up as being “injured” to see if she’ll fall for it. Not only doesn’t she fall for it, she is so angry and embarrassed at being made a spectacle that she dislocates his wrist. Before she can walk away, Griff notices the unusual sapphire pendant she is wearing. It was his mother’s, and had disappeared after her murder.
Thinking it may lead him to whoever murdered his parents, he goes to visit the bonesetter under the pretext of his war injuries. She examines him, and there is chemistry between them. She says she thinks she can help him, and by manipulating his shoulder, she relieves the pain he has been in for years. He is amazed, but still curious about the necklace. She prescribes a salve to be strongly massaged into his joints and eventually helps his elbow and wrist as well. Griff was on the precipice of suicide; he just didn’t know how much longer he could live with the pain but after her treatment, he was a new man.
His guardian doesn’t believe that she actually helped him. He thinks it is a coincidence because he felt that at some point it would just heal on its own, and he thinks it did. But Griff knows better. He gets closer to Hanna, even bringing her another patient, but his guardian is set on having her thrown out of London.
Griff and Hanna can never be together. He is of the aristocracy, and she is of the working class. Even if he wanted to look past that, Hanna is also Arab and her family would never allow her to marry outside her race. With all these seemingly insurmountable odds against them, the mystery of his murdered parents, and the struggles Hanna is having with the hospital board, it is quite the hurdle to get to their happily ever after.
This was a terrific love story and Hanna was an intelligent, interesting character. I liked the mystery that was entangled in the story, and of course, the happy ending. I think this books stands alone beautifully, but do read the first one as well, it was also a really interesting read.
8/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
TTHE VISCOUNT MADE ME DO IT by Diana Quincy. Avon (July 27, 2021). ISBN: 978-0062986818. 384 pages.